25 Life Lessons That Really Ought to Be Taught in School

Sigh, if only school prepared us for living in the real world.

If quadratic equations helped us manage our finances or European history helped us choose a spouse, just imagine how good we’d be at life!

Sadly, much of what we learn in school, while designed to give us a broad understanding of the world and everything in it, only served us until exam time and then poof! It was gone. I know this because helping my 5th grade son with his homework is way more challenging than it ought it be.

Most of us have had to learn life’s lessons the hard way, and while I’m not exactly sure that’s a bad thing, I do believe our educational system could teach us how to be better grownups.

Wouldn’t you have liked to be taught the dangers of credit cards or how to negotiate a starting salary? I know I would have.

Let’s take a look at 25 solid life lessons they really ought to teach in school, because we’ve all gotta grow up sometime.

  • Practical self defense 1 of 25
    Practical self defense
    Every man, woman, and child needs to know how to protect themselves in the event of a personal attack.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Learning to fail 2 of 25
    Learning to fail
    Failure is a necessary part of life and future success. Learning to fail isn't about accepting defeat but rather, learning from our mistakes and trying again.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to sell yourself 3 of 25
    How to sell yourself
    There's a fine line between self-confidence and cockiness. Effectively exhibiting self-worth and sincerity takes practice.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Free thinking 4 of 25
    Free thinking
    There's what we've been told and what we've been taught, and then there's how we really feel about it. If we could learn the value of our independent thinking, we'd no longer be afraid to dream.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Etiquette 5 of 25
    Etiquette
    I'm not talking serious Emily Post stuff here, just the basics. We should all know how to conduct ourselves personally and professionally.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to say no and mean it 6 of 25
    How to say no and mean it
    Learning how to say no and mean it doesn't come easily for a lot of us. If only we were taught how to effectively decline without apology.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Personal organization 7 of 25
    Personal organization
    The transition from living with your parents and their basement/attic/garage into a teeny tiny apartment with a roommate takes practice in the art of personal organization. We need to know what to keep, what to toss, and how to organize our personal space for maximum efficiency.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Interviewing skills 8 of 25
    Interviewing skills
    If you don't know how to answer, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" or "What are your weaknesses?" you're not alone. Teaching our kids the art of the interview will give them the best chance to succeed in their professional endeavors.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • The dangers of credit cards 9 of 25
    The dangers of credit cards
    Credit card companies easily lure broke college students with the avialability of "free money". Before getting caught in the web of high interest rates, young adults need to learn how credit cards work and the lasting negative impact of living on borrowed money.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to work as a team 10 of 25
    How to work as a team
    The ability to work together to achieve a shared goal is vital to professional success. Together we can do great things.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to change a tire 11 of 25
    How to change a tire
    As a matter of basic safety, every driver should know how to change a tire. Don't wait until you're faced with a flat after dark in a place without cell reception to try and figure it out.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to balance a checkbook 12 of 25
    How to balance a checkbook
    Unless you have unlimited funds in your bank account, you're going to need how to balance your checkbook. Overdraft protection be damned.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Problem solving 13 of 25
    Problem solving
    Not all of us are master problem solvers. Some of us run and hide while others crumble under the pressure. Learning strategies for effective problem solving would help take the emotion out of tough situations and yield positive solutions.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to talk to strangers 14 of 25
    How to talk to strangers
    Never underestimate the value of effective communication with strangers. Our ability to speak with confidence and clarity is the hallmark of our future professional success.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to cook 15 of 25
    How to cook
    Because man cannot (or should not) live on ramen noodles alone, we need to know how to cook for ourselves and follow a recipe.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • The importance of a back-up plan 16 of 25
    The importance of a back-up plan
    We all know, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." The question is, what are we going to do about it? Our ability to creatively think on our feet will serve us well both personally and professionally.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • When and how to ask for help 17 of 25
    When and how to ask for help
    The smartest people ask for help before real mistakes get made. Never allow foolish pride to stand in the way of personal and professional success.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to self-advocate 18 of 25
    How to self-advocate
    From advocating for our health to your principles, we could all use strategies on how to navigate through bureaucracy and be heard.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to save money 19 of 25
    How to save money
    In every life a little rain must fall. Are you saving for your rainy day? No matter the size of our paycheck, the discipline and know-how of saving will help secure our financial independence.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Critical thinking 20 of 25
    Critical thinking
    Sometimes logic rules emotion, other times we need to listen to our gut. May critical thinking offer us the wisdom to know the difference.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Multitasking 21 of 25
    Multitasking
    With expectations and pressures mounting at new and frightening levels, we've never been busier as a society. In order to work smarter and not harder, we need to be able to do more in less time by way of multitasking.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to budget 22 of 25
    How to budget
    Our kids need to understand that their quality of life will dramatically decrease when they move out on their own because it's supposed to. The question is, are our children prepared for the transition of living within modest means? Learning how to create a budget and live within it is key.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Negotiation skills 23 of 25
    Negotiation skills
    How do you negotiate a salary or even a better hotel rate? Tips and tricks of the negotiation trade will have you wheeling and dealing in all walks of life.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Time management 24 of 25
    Time management
    With time as our most precious resource, tools for time management will teach us how to prioritize and do more in less time.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • How to read a nutrition label 25 of 25
    How to read a nutrition label
    We owe it to our health to be aware of what's in the food we eat. If we are to make healthy choices about moderation and recommended values, we need to know how to interpret a nutrition label.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

What else should be taught in school? Sound off! 

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